Dear DrBicuspid Member,
Our top story of the week highlights the cancer risk from dental radiographs. The authors of a recent study calculated that dental x-ray radiation exposure caused an estimated 967 cancers in the U.S. in 2019.
Dental radiography-related cancers represent about 3% of new cancers in the oral cavity/pharynx and 5% of brain tumors, they found. The team behind the study listed two steps clinicians can take to minimize patients' risk.
Children's dental health concerns
A total of 14% of parents don't think it's safe for their child to go to the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of 1,882 parents. In addition, 40% haven't tried to get preventive dental care for their children since the start of the pandemic.
The vexing survey findings don't surprise Dr. Jessica Lee, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In a new video, Lee sat down with me to discuss how the pandemic is affecting children's dental health -- a timely topic considering that February is National Children's Dental Health Month.
In her own practice, Lee has seen an uptick in children presenting with dental health problems since offices closed for part of 2020. In the video, she shares her advice for dentists facing a similar situation.
"It is on us to make sure we communicate with our families," she said.
Speaking of children's dental health, do you know a pediatric or family dental superstar who promotes oral health for underserved children? Crest and Oral-B are seeking nominations for a sweepstakes. The winners will receive electric rechargeable toothbrush systems to support their outreach efforts.
If you're like me, you may have indulged in more chocolate than usual thanks to the sweet combination of Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras occurring just two days apart. But these holidays also serve as an excellent opportunity to educate yourself and your patients about sugar and nutrition, noted dental hygienist Lacy Walker.
In her timely column, Walker dishes on four sugar facts to help you deliver timely dental health advice that extends beyond the operatory. My favorite fact? When added to skin-care products, sugar can help moisturize the skin.
Next week marks the start of the annual Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. Be on the lookout for coverage from this year's show, which will take place virtually.